Inaction on Right Whales could harm Canadian fisheries

North Atlantic Right Whale

For years, American fishermen have faced tight restrictions on fishing gear and vessel speed restrictions to ensure their activities do not harm marine mammals.

But in Canada, it was only after right whales began turning up dead in large numbers in 2017 that authorities brought in emergency measures.

After another summer of high mortality for right whales in Canadian waters, questions are being asked about whether Canada's slow response to the crisis could still be taking a toll.

And with a deadline approaching for exporting countries to respect new marine mammal protection legislation in the U-S, the inaction could end up harming Canadian fisheries.

Sean Brillant, a senior conservation biologist at the Canadian Wildlife Federation, says Canada's response prior to 2017, and the 20 right whales found dead in the past three years, could be a concern for Canadian fisheries.

Brillant says U-S brought in legislation in 2016 that prevents the entry of seafood that does not meet strict standards around the incidental killing of other species, including whales.

Countries that export seafood to the U-S have five years, beginning January 10th, 2017, to comply with the new rules.